CDC Says Alcohol a Factor in One of Three Suicides
> 11/24/2006 10:54:21 AM

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that post-mortem toxicology screenings found alcohol present in 33% of suicides across 13 states. Opiates were involved in 16%. Maybe most worrisome is that, as Reuters reports, the number of suicide deaths that involved drugs and alcohol didn't change even when drugs were the suspected method of suicide.

In their report, the CDC notes the importance of continuing to monitor toxicology reports in suicide cases to ascertain any patterns of behavior or abuse that might help prevent future suicidal behavior or aid in treatment. The results also underscore again just how dangerous a drug alcohol can be. Underestimating its effects and ability to impair judgement and thought can have disastrous consequences. Suicide remains one of the top causes of death, especially among younger Americans, so these new alcohol related stats need to be incorporated into the education and prevention efforts surrounding suicidality.

Among 25 to 34-year-olds, suicide is the second most frequent cause of death, while among 10 to 24-year-olds it is the third leading cause of death. These are very real problems, and making sure that we open our eyes to the link between alcohol, drugs and suicidal behavior is an important step toward bettering our intervention and treatment procedures. We should never laugh off someone's drinking issues, as they may, and often do point to much larger problems, and can and do end in the most fatal of circumstances.

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